Turning full attention to Democratic Camp, Stav Shaffir resigns from Knesset
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Turning full attention to Democratic Camp, Stav Shaffir resigns from Knesset

MK gives up her seat after former colleagues in Labor criticize her decision to orchestrate Meretz-Barak merger; spot to be filled by ex-lawmaker Merav Michaeli

Stav Shaffir speaks during a press conference announcing the Democratic Camp in Tel Aviv on July 25, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)
Stav Shaffir speaks during a press conference announcing the Democratic Camp in Tel Aviv on July 25, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Stav Shaffir resigned from the Knesset Tuesday, turning her full attention to the Democratic Camp, which she left the Labor Party in order help establish last week.

“I promised that I’ll do everything in order to replace the Netanyahu government and save Israeli democracy — and that is what I’m doing,” Shaffir said in announcing the move.

“The Democratic Camp is going to change the face of Israeli politics,” she added.

The former MK was not required to give up her Knesset seat, and she did not explain the reasoning behind the move in her announcement.

Shaffir’s former colleagues in Labor had blasted her decision to help orchestrate Meretz’s merger with Ehud Barak’s Israel Democratic Party, which she went on to join herself, claiming she had acted opportunistically after coming in second to Amir Peretz in the party’s leadership primary earlier this month.

Shaffir broke with Labor after Peretz ruled out merging with other left-wing parties following his alliance with Orly Levy-Abekasis’s center-right Gesher party.

Shaffir’s spot in the Knesset will be filled by Merav Michaeli, a seasoned Labor lawmaker who didn’t make it into the Knesset in April when the party received just six seats.

Meretz chairman Nitzan Horowitz, right, Israel Democratic Party chief Ehud Barak, left, and MK Stav Shaffir hold a press conference announcing their new alliance, the Democratic Camp, ahead of the September 17 elections, in Tel Aviv on July 25, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

On Sunday, Meretz’s central committee approved the left-wing party’s move to join the Democratic Camp alliance.

The Democratic Camp merger agreement approved by the committee commits to the party seeking out a peace deal with the Palestinians on the basis of the two-state solution, not joining a right-wing government and canceling the controversial Jewish nation-state law passed last year, which enshrines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and was criticized by minority groups for failing to include references to the value of equality.

Polls have predicted a solid showing for the Democratic Camp — between eight and 12 Knesset seats — with Labor suffering and dropping to just five seats in two of three surveys released over the weekend, barely above the electoral threshold.

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